5 ways to deal with mean or catty people - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

5 ways to deal with mean or catty people

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I was talking to some of my colleagues at work and they began telling me about a woman who they viewed as very confident. This woman, from the sounds of it, had a great body image, even though her body had outward flaws that most of the women felt about their own bodies. She was confident with talking to men as well as women and perhaps a little flirty. This helped project her can do assertive style, and men as well as women seemed to respond. I was impressed until one of the women smiled and said, "Well, she liked everyone except small, petite women." Apparently this confident woman would try to demolish via lies, tricks or other passive aggressive mannerisms to put any woman down who threatened to upstage her. When I heard this I said, "Whoa, this woman isn't confident. This woman is mean and uses passive aggressive or catty ways to deal with her jealousy."

Catty is a derogative word describing a behavior that means you are socially or relationally aggressive. This behavior is suppose to peak in the teen years, and thrives on socially excluding others. Both boys and girls can use it, but it is usually modeled by socially aggressive moms, and you can watch it being acted out every day.

People who boast about their confidence while being socially aggressive toward others may be mistaking acting mean for confident. Catty people may find themselves feeling more acceptable due to their social aggressiveness, but what they may not know is how many are talking behind their back in a derogatory fashion. It doesn't matter whether you encounter them at school, work or in social clubs; the best way to deal with them is to avoid them. Below are a few other ways to avoid being drawn into their attempts to exclude you.

1. Excluding yourself from the group that the mean person seems to surround themselves with helps take care of you, and removes you from the drama and gossip a mean person will create.

2. Stay cool and stay busy with your own life. Go about your business and when someone begins with gossip, walk away.

3. At work or at school, if you know something is going on that will hurt others and is basically being promoted by a mean or catty person talk to your supervisor about it. This doesn't mean you have to get involved in the details, only the protection of someone innocent.

4. Have at least one close confidante you can talk to in regards to what is going on. This helps deal with the drama and gossip going on and helps keep things in perspective.

5. If you are a parent and your child is being seduced into a friendship by a popular catty person, it is wise to teach your child coping mechanisms to deal with peer pressure. Adults exert peer pressure on one another all of the time socially, but adults can leave a situation and never see the person again. In school this is impossible, which makes it more important that parents are there to help guide and listen to their child's concerns.

Women are socialized much differently than men, and social aggression is termed differently for each. Men have their "Good ole boys network," and women can be "catty." Both exist to exclude and promote a chosen few. If you are one of the chosen, it can feel wonderful! If you are one of the excluded, it can feel lonely, isolating and shaming. The wisest advice is to work on becoming confident and including others. Confidence means you like yourself and you like and appreciate others. There is no room for catty, mean or good ole boys behavior with true confidence, because those behaviors exist due to insecurity.

– Mary Jo Rapini

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